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Digital Transformation in Manufacturing:

Embracing the Future



The US manufacturing sector is showing promising signs of growth in 2024, and a recent survey done by Manufacturing Dive and Sikich of 150 manufacturing executives reveals a forward-thinking industry embracing digital transformation and AI projects. As global challenges impact the flow of raw materials, manufacturers are turning to enterprise software solutions, like i-5O’s computer vision platform, to stay competitive. i-5O looked at some of the key insights from this survey and how they apply to the digital transformation journey of the manufacturing industry.

Optimism and Technology Investments

There's a sense of optimism in the air, with manufacturing leaders increasing their investments in technology. Since 2021, companies have been investing more in tech, recognizing its critical role in their future success. According to the survey, this trend is set to continue, with 50% increasing their tech investments slightly and 33% planning to ramp them up significantly. A notable finding is that almost 70% of respondents consider themselves early adopters or innovators in technology adoption, indicating a sector eager to stay ahead of the curve.

AI and Enterprise Technology

When it comes to AI, robotic process automation, macnine learning, and predictive analytics are areas of keen interest. Almost half the survey respondents indicated computer vision as an area of AI that they are interested in for their organizations as well. Most significantly, only 1% of respondents said they were not interested in AI technologies at all which shows that the manufacturing sector recognizes the value that AI brings to the table.
According to the survey, the top three technologies manufacturers are considering investing in over the next 12-18 months are CRM Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), and DMS (Demand Management System). The main reason for investing in ERP is to expand their current footprint and improve security, convenience, and potential cost savings. This indicates that a lot of manufacturing organizations are still working on maturing their data assets since the above mentioned systems are where critical data is stored. While there may be a desire for manufacturers to adopt AI, they still lack the readiness for AI adoption since they might not yet have become data driven organizations.

Choosing Technology Vendors

As manufacturers embark on their digital transformation journeys, selecting the right technology vendors is essential. According to the survey, total cost of ownership and ease of implementation are the top criteria for choosing vendors, followed by technical capabilities and expertise, and a proven track record in the manufacturing industry.

i-5O: Accelerating Digital Transformation

Manufacturers looking to accelerate their digital transformation efforts should consider i-5O's computer vision system. i-5O’s computer vision platform enables manufacturers to streamline processes, optimize production, and make data-driven decisions. They can rapidly deploy AI powered computer vision applications for tracking manual production processes whether they have an ERP system in place or not. Unlike ERP transformations, there is little infrastructural change required to adopt i-5O’s computer vision platform and the entire system is fully autonomous which means that the data acquisition is done in a completely automated fashion.
The manufacturing industry is embracing industry 4.0, digital transformation and AI with optimism and determination. By addressing challenges and investing in the right technologies, manufacturers can stay resilient and competitive in a dynamic market. The insights from this survey highlight the critical role of enterprise software, like i-5O’s computer vision platform, in helping manufacturers protect their businesses and adapt to the changing landscape.

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